Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm Upset

I want to tell you about a scam that totally took me. 
This is relevant to anyone who sells online and uses paypal to accept payments.

Just the other day I was thinking how awesome this business is; most everyone is kind, happy to have the thread of creativity running through us all, connecting us across the miles. We encourage each other, we learn from each other and we support each other with advise, personal experiences and resources.

After 5 years in business, I have had very few transactions go bad and I attribute this to putting the other persons point of view before my own, despite personal attack or spitefulness. I treat everyone how I would want to be treated.
Patience. Understanding. Kindness.

But this was out right thievery.I can't leave feedback because this person could very well retaliate and she has several items of mine to leave feedback for, it could actually take down my 100% feedback.  
Grossly unfair. But this is how etsy has decided to remain.

The Set Up;
When a customer purchases an item or several items, pays through paypal (whether through a credit card or their bank) then comes back and purchases more items, again completes payment through paypal BUT requests you to combine the packages to save on shipping;
They can reverse the payment, both credit card and bank account payments.
Paypal then only has 1 tracking number for this customer and you have no way of proving that you included all the items in 1 package. Your funds are seized while paypal re-pays the bank that reversed the funds and you are forced to pay the customer the money they paid you, but they keep the items.

Never again will I combine items made from separate purchases to save the customer shipping costs.
She received product, a refund on shipping and now is receiving the money for the product.
(Plus freebies because she was a big buyer) 

Cheryl, you're a thief. And I hope the payback you have coming to you doesn't involve your family like the scam you pulled involved mine.

In the same week, I have a customer insisting that the picture shows something she wanted, but I listed it wrong or I sent her the wrong item. Even though I showed her the listing description and pointed her in the right direction of the listing she should have purchased, offered to accept the item she didn't want for a refund and only charge her the difference in price between the two, she had to manipulate the situation, insisting she wouldn't pay for return postage because it was my mistake.
She purchased 20 gauge antiqued copper wire and received 20 gauge antiqued copper wire, but this was my mistake she didn't receive Violet Patina-ted wire. 

"I know I bought this, and it said it was this, and I received this, but I wanted this other thing so you should send it to me. FREE." 

I explained I couldn't, ignored her attempts to guilt me into a different response and told her I would re-fund the money when the item was returned. 
BUT she needs to find her violet patina-ted wire elsewhere.

She sends the wire back AND includes stamps for shipping the violet wire out.
With a scribbled note about recycling the package that I had to cut open in order to remove the returned wire.
So I am now still indebted to her.
There are some manipulative people you just can't make happy and will constantly waste time trying to please to avoid any unvalidated retaliation. I do not want to do business with this person, I told her so and she ignored this and sent return postage?!?!

I can just imagine the harassment that will continue and the additional time sucked away if I do or don't give in to her demands.

Seriously, unhappy people trying to weigh down the negative thoughts and unbalance me;
Your toxic way of life is not welcome here amongst me and beading friends! 

* Update - To avoid having an un-shipped transaction remain in your paypal account to be reversed by the buyer who is claiming you did not ship it when you included the second purchase in their package; cancel both transactions, refund both of the buyers' payments, create a new listing that reflects the amount of both purchases and send them the link to that listing instead. This way they have 1 payment to make and you have 1 package to ship that includes a tracking number. It's all about the tracking number. Paypal will only side with the seller if they can prove they shipped ALL of the items.
Hind sight is 20/20, huh?



  1. When it rains it pours, but if these are your only bad experiences, then consider it a hazard to the job. And yes, you will reap what you sow so I would hate to be these customers so have reaped a lot of unnecessary stress and heartache into your life.

  2. Just read your post. So sorry there are horrible people that will do these things.

  3. thanks for this heads up,currently i have an etsy customer, not know to me, that has several different purchases( many) she is sitting on while taking time shopping as new items appear..i will definately figure out how make certain i take your info into account at check out time.
    while i do not mind combining items into one package..i never thought about the pay pal tracking process...wow heads up for us all..
    as for customer #2, i probably would send the postage back with a note about you not being able to process this order..

  4. Dear Shannon, it pains me to read that you are so upset! I don't know what comfort to give you but saying "You are loved and very appreciated!". I hope your bad feelings will fade away sooner than later. All my best!

    P.s. I have also asked sellers to put two different purcheses in the same packeting. I will never ask again from now on. Do not want to risk anything bad happening ...

  5. Sorry you had to go through all of that, even though it's only a few out of many who mess you around, it still is a headache. I've stopped selling on Ebay because of it, I just don't have the time for scammers.

  6. Thankyou for posting this! I have sold things online before but always had good experiences. Selling my polymer clay items is new for me and I hope to do it longterm so anything I can gleen from others is a good thing.

    The worst part of the whole experience though, I know is the sourness it leaves in your stomach and how over time it can start to jade your attitude/view towards customers. This is something I contend with alot in other things and it sure gets hard :(

    So, sorry for this and hope this morning is a new day for you :o)


  7. Would it help if I did some shopping from you? Some GOOD shopping? I am in the mood anyway ... so it would be two flies in one slap (is that a saying in english too? I hope you understand what I mean anyway). Hugs from Sweden!

  8. stay strong and dont let then get to you. T least you dont have to live your life perpetually unhappy and unfulfilled like they do. you are the lucky one.

  9. Oh, dear. I had no idea that anyone would/could use PayPal that way. That's a rotten thing to do. Thanks for the heads up. I've only had a couple of customers that were difficult. But lost sleep and worried and felt pretty danged crap until everything was resolved. Fortunately, most of the people out there are honest kind people and that makes doing this sort of business worthwhile.

  10. I wonder what makes people do the things they do? I am sorry you had this happen to you...I appreciate you sharing your story with us as we can all learn from it. I had a customer who wanted to return a rather expensive necklace..she said it was not as shown (it surely was) anyway, it took her over 3 months to return it to me, I should never have accepted it. Live and learn.

  11. I'm sorry to hear of your experience. I can never understand how someone can do things like this. I always want to see the good in people.

  12. So sorry to hear about the double trouble, fortunately these people are the minority on the planet. Thanks for the heads up, I combine orders and refund shipping as well. I don't use the postal label thing yet, I need a better printer first. Is that what you mean by tracking?
    Maybe don't use the postal label feature when you combine orders?

  13. Shannon, so sorry to hear you were taken advantage of. This is such a tough side of being an artist...doing the business side. We are free souls and can easily be taken advantage of. Our minds are not thinking from a dark side, just an enlightened, freeing position. I am so sorry for your hassle. Hang in there. There can't be another one coming your way!? Riki

  14. Wow... I'm so sorry you had not just one but two terrible experiences recently. And to not be able to resolve it or leave negative feedback for fear of reprisals -- that's so unfair.

    I've been wanting some oxidized metals lately, so expect an honest order soon.... You do beautiful work!

  15. I am so sorry. This is just horrible.

  16. Shannon, so sorry to read about your awful experiences with those two customers. There's always a few that spoil the artistic joy in sharing our art. Hang in there, karma will take care of them...they will reap what they sow.

  17. What a couple of Cows!! I can not believe that they would do something like that to you!! I can not even imagine doing that to someone else!! I pride myself on honest practices and good service, but that certainly makes you feel like you want to throw in the towel! I know it would leave an awful bitter taste in my mouth! A promise to you dear sweet Shannon, you will NEVER have problems with me and I will NEVER double cross you!! HUGS!!

  18. Oh, shit! This is really nefarious. But I'm truly believe - and I hope that's the right saying in english - "what goes around comes around". And please don't let that negative energy pull you down. regards Stefanie

  19. That is a very devious thing to do to *take the time to go and cancel the transaction knowing items will be shipped. Whoever she is she blows and wouldnt that be great to stop them! Can you not report them to Paypal? I hope your day gets better Shannon.

  20. What goes around comes around.

    I'll bet you're not the only one "Cheryl" has done this to. She found a way to scam hard-working people.

    Unfortunately, this is all part of doing business online.
    Hang in there Kiddo, this to shall pass.

  21. I'm so sorry to read about your troubles! As a very happy customer of yours, I love your items and was really happy with my package. As seller, I haven't had this experience and I expect the people who did this to you have really bad karma coming soon. I wish you less worry and better customers :)

  22. I'm very sorry to hear about your travails. I too want to think everyone is nice, or at least decent. If it makes you feel any better, my first 2 Etsy purchases were combined in one package, and the package was lost. The seller says it made it to my post office, but the PO doesn't have it. I'm not going to make a deal out of this. I love the artisans who are on Etsy, and I want the good Karma to win over the bad. Chin up, goodness will return to you.

    I can't wait to buy some of your yummy things...

  23. So sorry you had to deal with people like this. I have met with such people in the past. Sometimes I fight it and sometimes I just give in and then let go of it so it doesn't hang over me like a black cloud.
    hang in there.

  24. Some people are just filled with unhappiness and feel the need to put it onto someone else. ANd I seriously can't believe the customer who scammed you. The shame. All I can say is that at least these people stand out so much because in this community they are few and far between.

  25. I'm so sorry you had to experience this rotteness. Some people are just evil and there's not much you can do about it except try to handle it profesionally (which you did) and move on. Good to know about the combining issue. So far, the worst I've run into is people ordering stuff on Etsy, but then not paying for it despite repeated convos. I now have a published "pay in 48 hours or I re-list" policy and I've been sticking to it. I need to be more organized about my own buying habits as I know I've been guilty of buying something and then placing another order with the same vendor that same day or next day.

  26. i am really disheartened and upset that this has caused you such anguish... in a way, i am glad that you were able to get angry and vent it out... we internalize a lot and that is not necessarily a good thing... your info about paypal really caught me by surprise - you are saying that by refunding shipping for one order that the transaction was able to be reversed completely?
    shan - don't let the few ruin it for the many... you have a professionalism that i admire - but it is good that you have set some limits... i liked nan's suggestion about how to handle customer #2...
    peace and love and light

  27. So sorry to hear to your recent misfortunes...who has time to sit around and think up these scams? And since when is it your fault that someone else purchased the wrong thing? I hear your frustration...I often combine shipping for two different items...who would have thought? Thanks for sharing...

  28. I came to your blog to cheer myself up but your post just reiterates what I already think . I hate adults, I would rather be in a room of children or animals because as far as I am concerned they are the only ones worth spending any time or effort on. Hugs and Kisses coming your way Shannon.XOX LB

  29. I am so sorry! I really can't understand how people live with themselves after doing things like this.

    Summerstudio and Gardanne are right - most folks out there are honest and great to work with and thank God for that! Because the dishonest customer can really dent your spirit, can't they?

    Thank you for sharing - I appreciate this business lesson immensely but I am so sorry that it came at your expense!

  30. She will crash and burn and how you will keep Soaring!

  31. Really good to know about the combo shipping scam! I'm passing it on to my Etsy team!

  32. Shannon, thanks for sharing what happened to you. Every Etsy seller should thank you, too.

    Luckily for us, these morons are way outnumbered by other absolutely fantastic customers who appreciate what you do and uphold their end of the transaction honestly and in a timely manner so we can get on with the business of creating art.

    On another note, Happy Birthday to Miss Pinky! She's a doll, and you are blessed! :)


  33. Shannon, I'm really sorry to hear this. I love your work and have been very satisfied with my purchases. I really appreciate your warning as I am still relatively new with Etsy. I'm surprised to hear there is a way around Paypal like this. Your lousy customers will be revisited by their own Karma. Meanwhile, it sounds like they are way outnumbered by all of your good customers and your many friends.

  34. Send back the stamps. That's what I'd do! People never cease to amaze me, they really don't. Luckily in this game I've only ever had a few bad apples and I've chucked them before they can ruin the bushel. Unfortunately for me, being Australian means I have no proof of postage (our receipts are really vague) so every time I make a sale I have to cross my fingers and hope the person is honourable. If I chose to send registered (the only way I can get proof from my PO) it will cost the customer an extra $20. I'm considering putting my prices up $20 to cover it, but that makes a pair of earrings mighty expensive.

  35. Hi,

    I realize you posted this last month, but I just had to comment. First of all, I'm so sorry that you had to deal with people like this. Obviously, you are a kind & sensitive person and that is why these situations upset you. Because you would never scam people... you find it incredibly difficult to understand why or how others could.
    I had a business a couple of years ago that I'd been working at for a few years. Although I sold to friends & by word of mouth, I also decided to sell via Ebay. BIG mistake. I was appalled by the sheer meanness of some of the buyers. Out of 10 transactions, I was scammed by 1/3 of them!! Yes, I understand that it is an unfortunate, but expected, part of being in business for yourself, but the stress it caused me was life changing! I closed my online "shop" because I could not imagine having to deal with these kinds of people on a regular basis (even one is too many for me!).I couldn't believe how much it negatively affected every aspect of my life! I lost a lot of money & faith and I also lost something I had dreamed of for a very long time... my own successful business & the independence that came with it. Knowing that you are dealing with the same issues yet you are still forging ahead in your business is a good lesson for me. I gave up too soon and I allowed these thieves to manipulate me. Well.. I'm going to give it another try & this time I'll be extra careful & put on my suit of emotional armor. Thank you for sharing your difficulties... it was just the push I needed to get back in the "game".Please keep sharing... I wish you huge amounts of success & happiness. Thank you.
    Warmest Regards Always,

  36. I'm adding you to my blog roll, because I love your work - but I'd do it any way just for this post! Thank you for sharing and giving us a heads-up on what "could" happen. One tip from me: Fortunately I've only had 1 bad experience, and it WAS bad, since I've started my jewelry business. A gallery owner didn't get enough insurance, place burns, she pays me a fraction of what she owes and then closes doors. Make sure you get copy of gallery owner's insurance policy for contents if you put things in for consignment.


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